I think windsurf foiling is possibly the biggest thing to happen in windsurfing for a long time. It’s not new technology because it’s been in kitesurf foilng for some time and there is a huge development of foils within the Americas cup and sailing. The big deal is the fact that you can plane in 10 to 12 knots (or under) changes everything for windsurfing. What’s really interested me is the fact that kite brands have started developing windsurf foils and boards. There seems to be two design briefs in windsurf foils: race foils and big rigs, and then low-wind freeride windsurf foils and small sails.
For us at 2XS® we are selling mostly the the light wind foil system as this seems to work this between 10 and 20 knots, and once the wind picks up 20kts it is back to normal windsurfing. With a summer of no wind, foiling has made a big impact on me and I have done more foiling this season than normal windsurfing (even on trip to Club Vass this year I foiled there as much as ‘normal’ windsurfing). Windsurf foiling also turns many inland locations into a epic places to foil. The feeling of gliding over the water in such light winds is pretty epic, and it combines a lot of sail skills, balance and is pretty on the body – you will often find you not even in the harness.
There are now stacks of brand selling foils on the market: Naish, Moses, AFS, Manta foils, Neil Pryde, Horue, MFC plus others. We have chosen to work with Slingshot, Starboard, RRD and Fanatic who have a range of foils that work in specific conditions and are very reliable from a technical point of view. You have to remember adding alloy, carbon, steel and titanium bolts in salt water has some real maintenance issues – so you need to look after your foil and this includes: washing it in fresh water, lube all the bolts, and regularly take it apart to check the components.
A lot of people ask me if worth waiting to buy a foil as is it such a new part of the sport and still developing. Well I suppose you could wait, but then you are missing out on valuable water time, and the technology may take a while to change. I think you could take some good advice and cut through the bullshit to get the right foil, board or foil sail, and that alone will make all the difference to your learning curve. That’s where we can help at 2XS®! We have been doing the hard work for you and testing these foils on the water. Seeing what Sam Ross (The Zen foil master), Peter Hart, and now Max Rowe (Foil coach at Club Vass) is doing with foils indicates it is a growing part of windsurfing not just a fad.
There are a lot options with foiling, and if you want to learn windsurf foiling then start with a lesson. At 2XS we offer 1 to 1 private lessons at 2XS® West Wittering using a BB talking headsets. We also tend to use a specific foil board (Slingshot or Starboard) which is wider in the tail to get minimum take off speed, and you can use a short mast initially to reduce the ‘dolphin effect’. We also use a foil specific light wind sail (Ezzy Hydra) which help to get on the plane. You can check out the Slingshot windfoil academy for a free foil online lesson .